The school building, also known as Ace Elementary School, is a minor character, and probably the most unusual character, in the Peanuts comic strip by Charles M. Schulz. The reader is able to see thought bubbles coming from the school building, it seems to listen to what Sally Brown says, and Sally seems to understand it too, a strong relationship eventually develops between the two characters.
The school building is a difficult character to categorize. It is a real location, therefore it is not an obviously imaginary character like the Red Baron or the Great Pumpkin. However, although it thinks and feels it is not a "living character" like the children and animals in the strip.
In the strip from July 7, 1971, Sally shouts at the school building, taunting it by saying that it is summer vacation and, consequently, the school can do nothing to harm her. In the following days strip, she runs up to the building and kicks it. The school building does not react in any way to Sally's actions in either of those strips.
The school building sighs in the strip from August 31, 1974 and first appears with a thought bubble in the one from September 2, 1974. Sally yells at the school, which offends it. However, a week later, Sally comes back to the school, apoligizes to it and compliments it on having cool bricks. As a result, the school falls in love with her.
In subsequent strips Sally continues to hold one-sided conversations with the building, the building occasionally finds ways to communicate in return, and Sally somehow understands it. Sally develops a relationship with the building, always talks to it, and shares her feelings with it.
The school seems to have feelings for Sally as well, and tries to reveal them, for example by dropping bricks on those who scoff at Sally for talking to an inanimate object. The school building also drops a brick on Linus, after Sally tells it Linus is her boyfriend. The school says, "I'm the jealous type."
Although the school building loved Sally, it suffered from deppression, and gave up by just collapsing, and "committing suicide" on January 9, 1976. It is probably the only Peanuts character to "die" in any form.
The schools "death" greatly upsets Sally. However, when transferred to the school attended by Peppermint Patty, Marcie and Franklin in the interim, she speaks to that school building too, saying her old school spoke fondly of it. It is revealed that the other school building is able to think as well, although it never has as good a relationship with Sally as the old school.
- The principal
- The principal's secretary
- Miss Othmar (Hagemeyer)
- Miss Halverson
- Mrs. Donovan